Browse Items (15 total)

  • Contributor is exactly "Terry Holmes"

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Stephen joined the Royal Air Force in Kingston upon Hull. He wanted to be a pilot but became a mid-air gunner instead. He started at RAF Dalcross where he trained on Boulton Paul Defiant aircraft and went to 12 Squadron at Wickenby on Lancasters.…

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Aged 17, James volunteered for aircrew in June 1942 purely for the adventure as he was looking for something exiting. He trained in Canada as a navigator and after a wonderful leave in New York returned to England for advanced flying training. on…

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Eric left school at 14 and worked in a bakery and then in accountancy. Aged 17 he volunteered for aircrew and trained as a flight engineer. He became a pathfinder and carried out operations to Hamburg, Karlsruhe, and Dortmund, flying from RAF…

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Keith was called up in February 1942 and after basic training learned to fly in the Tiger Moth and then sent to Davidson in Canada for further training in Cornells and Cranes. He failed a flying test and was remustered as a bomb aimer and sent back…

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Colin was born in Ilford in 1920 and at the outbreak of war was working in a London warehouse. Seeing the bomb damage around him he wanted to join the RAF and gain revenge, so he volunteered. Unfortunately he had a plaster cast on his leg, following…

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Peter was born in Norwich. His father was a head gardener and wanted him to follow that occupation and so refused to let him join the RAF. With the advent of war the situation changed and Peter volunteered at a recruiting station and after selection…

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After being called up, Larry was assessed as pilot, navigator, bomb aimer but changed to rear gunner to avoid the delay in pilot training. He was trained at RAF Dalcross on Wellingtons before moving to RAF Lindholme to convert to the Halifax and then…

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Ben was born in 1925 in Kent and his first job was in the gas works. A member of the Air Transport Command, he was called up in 1944 and after initial training at RAF Locking he joined No.4 flight engineers course at RAF St Athan for one year. He…

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Peter was called up in November 1943 and after basic training was sent to RAF Halton to be trained as a flight mechanic. Whilst there he had several dangerous incidents during small arms training.
Initially posted to 527 Squadron, which was …

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Born in York in 1922, Joseph left school at 14 and started work in a chocolate factory and attended two nights of further education per week. In 1936, a fighter aircraft had landed nearby which stimulated his interest in flying which he retained all…

Ken Odell was a schoolboy at the beginning of the war living in Highgate and was evacuated with the school. When he was of age he volunteered for the RAF and was sent to RAF Sywell for Pilot, Navigator, Bomb Aimer evaluation. Accepted as a pilot, he…

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Thomas was born in Hemel Hempstead in 1925, one of four children and lived in a row of terraced houses with very basic sanitation. The end property was a public house with no gas or electricity, with only paraffin lamps and candles. His first…

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Henry Townsley was born near Workington and left school at fourteen years of age and started work as an apprentice vehicle fitter. After a spell as a junior engineer in the Merchant Navy he volunteered, in April 1940, for the RAF, rather than the…

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Frank was born in Australia in 1923 and joined the RAAF in 1942. After initial training as a pilot in Australia and Canada on Tiger Moth and Anson aircraft he arrived in England. Over the next 12 months he progressed from Oxford to Wellington to…

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Patricia Cook was born in Lincoln, one of eight children, during the Second World War. She recalls having to sleep four to a bed and having to share their house with complete strangers. They had the Morrison shelter table in their front room. The…
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